Over the past few years, we’ve seen and/or experienced the growing trend of remote work. Whether it’s fully remote, or a hybrid of working some days from home and some in the office, it’s undeniable that this new take on a 9-to-5 is not going away anytime soon.
As with most trends, concern has been raised regarding the effectiveness of remote work, and whether it’s truly beneficial, productive and cost-effective for both businesses and their employees. And while there are obviously disadvantages to working from home, it cannot be denied the advantages that a work-from-home schedule offers.
The benefits for employees
Employees have a unique opportunity to craft a workplace environment that not only meets their personal needs but may help motivate them and boost their productivity levels overall. The result? Better mental health for employees, and better health within the company community.
We’re certain the amount of traffic from your kitchen to your home office is much less compared to your commute downtown. Without the need to wake up early to drive to work, employees are likely to have a schedule more conducive to a peaceful lifestyle, including getting enough sleep, exercise and healthy meals. Plus, mental health is likely to be better when one doesn’t spend (potentially) over an hour sitting in rush hour traffic.
The mundane routine of a 9-to-5 can become tiring for many people, but working remotely can offer new possibilities that working in-office could not. Working remotely allows for a more flexible schedule, meaning employees can meet their personal needs more readily, which is likely to result in reduced burnout and, therefore, less turnover. In fact, employees were reported to have an average of 12 percent reduction in turnover when remote work was offered.
So long as you get the work done, most companies allow for a flexible start and end time for their remote staff. This gives you the chance to do the things life requires, like dropping off the kids at school, attending important appointments and making dinner for your family. And when your home life is balanced, your work life will also feel more balanced and peaceful.
Ability to travel
Sometimes staying in one place starts to drain the life from you, but working remotely gives you the chance to travel and put an end to the feeling of being trapped or cooped up. Some people who work remotely travel frequently, setting up their home office in peaceful, exotic locations. This can be an incredible benefit, as the new location can increase motivation and productivity, making work more enjoyable than before.
May reduce the cost of living
Living in a city is expensive, but was often required when working a high-paying job downtown. Now, however, people have the increased ability to live wherever they want and work jobs that pay just as much. A lower cost of living means less money spent on rent, and more spent on the things you value.
Benefits of remote work for companies
While employees benefit in a number of ways, companies, too, can reap the benefits from employees experiencing more motivation due to a work-from-home schedule.
Employing remote workers can decrease the cost of a brick-and-mortar office. In some cases, this cost can be totally eliminated. A remote workforce can also reduce the amount of money the company spends on things like office snacks or supplies. The money saved can be invested back into employees’ salaries and the company as a whole.
This doesn’t just benefit employees, it benefits employers, too. Eliminating an employee’s commute is likely to decrease their stress and boost their morale. Not only that, but employers can count on their employees to have a fixed start time — no more delays due to traffic jams, public transportation issues or inclement weather.
Increased exposure to additional markets
Hiring employees from a variety of cities, states or even countries is one way to get increased insight into markets or demographics that an organization may not otherwise be familiar with. More diversity will bring a wider number of perspectives and ideas to the table.
Larger hiring pool
Hiring remotely eliminates many geographic barriers on a company’s ability to find talented employees because the commute (or relocation cost) no longer has to be considered. And while salary and other benefits still play a role in attracting in-demand employees, remote work can offer an advantage when potential hires are comparing employers.
Considering a work-from-home model for your business?
Determining whether or not remote employment opportunities are appropriate for your organization can be tough, and it requires a measured analysis of both the advantages and disadvantages. But a thorough examination of your company and the needs of your employees can help you make the best decision for all.
If your company employs a remote workforce, or you are considering the transition to a work-from-home model, Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP can help you keep team members engaged and productive with a customized employee assistance program. Our EAP services are designed to meet the evolving needs of your organization, its employees and HR leaders. To learn more, contact Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP by calling (800) 543-5080 or contacting us via our website.